Writing Everyday Vs. Not

I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. When I was posting on Wattpad I wrote thousands of words and popped out multiple chapters every day.

They weren’t edited and their no longer available, but I did that.
It also caused me burn out so bad that I took a year off. Not that I’m complaining. I watched a ton of really good shows that helped refill that well of inspiration that completely drained when I was doing all that writing though.

Doctor Who and Breaking Bad among some of those greats!
When I did pick up writing again I tried to throw myself back into it. Force myself to write every single day like I used to and found the more I tried to force myself to write the more I seemed to hit that famous brick wall. It would also frustrate me because I felt like I was failing as a writer and put me off of writing for the rest of the week.

Needless to say, it stopped me from being productive in any way shape or form. I’ve learned that whatever motivation burned through me all those years ago literally burned through me. Now I’m lucky if I can push out a good two-thousand a week. That’s if I’m writing every other day, or at least pushing through one good day of writing. Then I usually wind up avoiding any form of writing the next day. (I told you my motivation was shot.)

There’s an incentive to both ways.

If you’ve got multiple responsibilities, then yeah, sometimes it can make sense to only write a bunch of words in one day. Getting through your word count all at once allows you to focus on other things. Which is especially helpful if you’ve got a full-time job, school, kids, or all three. You know. Adult stuff that happens.

I especially got to give props to those people that can manage 10k in one workday. Like wow. Kudos to you.

But working on your MS in bits is just as great. It allows you to focus on smaller bits, work out the details and kinks at a much slower pace, and have a much more put together manuscript at the end of it. Kind of.
I say this only because its recently taking me 4 months to write a 24k novella and I know that if I had buckled down and really focused it would have taken me two. But oh well.

I did have other writing projects, so there was that going on.

All this to say, that there is no right or wrong way to write your story.
Smash it out in a month and edit later. Great!

Take six months to finish that first draft! At that pace, you’ll still beat George R.R. Martin so…Great!!!

You do you and don’t let anyone tell you that needs to be done any other way. As long as the words are getting written and you’re telling the story your way. Whatever works.

Keep writing.

Keep creating worlds

Until next time!

Favorite Editing Tools

There’s a long lists of how to edit your story. What steps need to be taken to get from point A to B and I can focus on those things in a later blog. Lord knows I’ve been through those trenches enough to know a thing or two about surviving. I believe there’s a whole blog about finding what works for you that includes a list of things that happened to help through that particular process.

And there’s plenty of other blogs out there that spell out some of the best methods of writing, hell there’s whole books. I’ll get to those in this blog as well if you’re looking for some ideas on what to read.

But there’s few on the tools that a person can use to edit their novel and I’ve had to do some deep diving myself to really find what works for me. So here’s a few tools that I’ve found that makes my editing process so much easier and takes off some of that stress.

  1. Notebooks:   No, this first one isn’t anything online and if you’re a writer it’s not a huge secret to you. Having a spare notebook next to you as you go through your first draft just to jot down some quick notes is a literal life saver. Especially when you’re doing most of this on the go and don’t have quick access to a computer. You can even do this while you are writing your first draft and just make notes of changes that you think of as your story progresses. Because we all know that story is going to change mid structure. So scribble all of your notes down during the original drafting process and again when you are doing the first read through and when you are finished make those changes you feel are still relevant.

  2. Grammarly:  Grammarly and other such editing sites is one of those easily over looked tools that people tend to ignore because it is a computerized editor reading data in your work and giving you feed back, but for a person who sucks at grammar, like me, its a life saver in getting those simple mistakes out of your manuscript before sending it off to beta readers and CP’s who’ll catch a misplaced comma a mile away.

  3. Text to Voice sites:  This is a relatively new step for me. Before I would have suffered and read the words aloud and gone hoarse in the process. Now I’ve found a way to have the story read to me. Which makes it so much better because I can listen and take notes or make changes without having to lose the rhythm of the story. Admittedly, it gets paused on several occasions while I’m going through it and I do wind up rewinding to listen to the same sentence twenty times but it’s not my voice that’s being worn out and it really came in handy in my last short story edit.

  4. Scrivener:   Okay, yes I know scrivener is an all around tool but make no mistake it really shows it’s usefulness while you are editing. You can pull up split screen so that you are staring at your original first draft and all its notes and be able to type out all the edits on the other screen. You can switch out scene cards if you decide the scenes need to be mixed up. You can jump back and forth between chapters and storyboard mode. All of your additional research notes, characters cards, and world building information is right there in the story binder so you’re not flipping through a hundred other folders on your computer, fretting that you’ve accidentally deleted it in the last folder clean out.

  5.   Thesaurus.com :   Or any other book or site that allows you to have a list of words that mean the same as that word that you’ve used over a hundred times. You know what I’m talking about. Going through the first draft most of us have gotten into the habit of fast drafting thanks to challenges like Nanowrimo and so we’ve got a hundred instances of “look” and “rushed” through out our entire novel and a good thesaurus always helps in finding another word before we go through and just completely rewrite the entire paragraph.

So, yes. There is my 5 favorite editing items that I use before I send my manuscripts out to beta readers and cps. Cause let’s be honest. Even when we tell them that it’s a second or third draft we still want the best we can do on our own sent to them before their eyes land on it and every little bit helps in the end.

Until next time. Happy writing!

UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS!!!

I know it’s been a hot minute since I last posted on here. My apologizes in advance. I focused a bit on my youtube channel, which I ask that you check out for more content. I’ve also been focusing on writing and querying and that seems to take up a good bit of my time. 

So, without further ado I’ll get into the announcements.

First off, I’ve got a small piece recently published in the ANGELS: A Divine Microficition Anthology by Black Hare Press

67597972_156481842155253_9104529235212500992_n

It’s currently available on Amazon and you’re welcome to check it out to find my piece as well as over 100+ other author’s. It’s already topped as a #1 Best Seller in it’s category and isn’t looking to disappear anytime soon.

That being said, I also have another bit of drabble coming out soon in their Beyond Dark Drabbles #4 and is up for Kindle preorder and is due to be released in September.

64398441_149493172854120_6029255913095823360_n

So keep an eye out for further updates on that.

Now on to other news.

I’m still querying STOP THE RAVEN the stats for that are as followed.

22 Queries sent out

17 Rejected.

0- MS Requests….

I’m really beginning to think that I need to take a look at my first chapter and maybe the query and synopsis but I’ll wait a bit longer to see what happens. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic here and a tad stubborn but I’ve seen worse odds. So….To each his own, right?

Though I have already started plotting out how I can make the first chapter far more interesting and possibly even change the plot all together but that whole bag of worms will wait until I’ve reached a few more rejections.

On the writing front I am currently working on another story. Think IT where a bunch of kids are fighting a monster lurking in the woods. I’m enjoying it. For the most part. It’s giving me some trouble as far as not wanting flow as easily as I hoped it would but it’s only in first draft mode and not looking to meet public eyes anytime soon.

Maybe if I put myself on some kind of deadline I can get this thing finished and edited and figure out how I wanna publish this thing. That will be a problem for another day though.

I’ve also have several short story ideas building up for submissions to anthologies. If you write speculative fiction and are looking for a place to submit your work feel free to check out Black Hare Press. They have more drabbles looking for submissions as well as their new Seven Deadly Sins series that just opened for submissions as well as several others.

If you’re a reader, still check out their content because they have some amazing anthologies coming out.

My current reading lists includes:

Angels – because I do wanna read some of those other stories. I got glimpses of titles and they all look so amazing. Can’t wait to dive into that.

and

Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I’ve followed her on twitter and love her enthusiasim for writing and traveling and have been meaning to get into one of her books. I’m not even disappointed by the story thus far and am looking forward to finishing this series off.

Otherwise summer has been filled with kids, camping, and an upcoming water park trip. Woohoo! Yeah, it’s been going by pretty fast and the end of the year is just around the corner.

So what things have you been up to? Achieved any major goals? Read any good books this summer?

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you guys.

Editing is Hard

 

 

I’ve been absent for a while. Most of it was me procrastinating, per usual. Are you really surprised? The other half is that I’ve been trying to get through the revisions/edits in my story so every little bit of writing time that I actually put in is going toward the story. Unfortunately, that meant this blog is more of an afterthought, and while I feel guilty about that, it’s not something that is eating away at me.

I started this blog to track my writing journey and while I try to keep it updated, I try really hard not to be overly concerned about it either, especially if there is nothing to write about.

That is not the case today, however. I do have something to write about.
My editing process and how I am handling it.

A few months ago I found some beta readers to read my story Stop The Raven and get some feedback and most of it was extremely helpful. It also proved that I really needed a lot of work on this story. Mostly revising a good portion of the first half of the story.

When I first started gathering the notes and trying to come up with a game plan I was thinking, okay change a few scenes, add some stuff and rearrange a few others.

Yeah.

That went well for about…..a day. Then I realized that rewriting one chapter requires rewriting the next chapter and the next and then I started questioning my plot points and explanations of how things happened.

It’s been a shit storm to revise and there is still a good portion that I will be going back to fix up, but for the most part, it’s coming out better. I’m loving the scenes so much better in the beginning and I’m excited about the changes.

It’s been such a slow process and sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to actually finish any of this but there is hope.

I’m giving myself til October to be completely finished with this manuscript. Does that mean I will stop working on it in October if I’m not?
NO!

I’ve tried to give up on this MS and it didn’t leave me alone until I started writing on it again. It’s one of those ideas that has managed to hook its nails in me and I don’t see myself giving it up until I’ve been told to throw in the towel.

That doesn’t say I don’t have other ideas that I could work on, if, and when I do finish this story. The other night I came up with a futuristic space pirate novel and I’ve gotten another story that’s pretty much got a half of a first draft finished that will probably be trashed and rewritten much like Stop the Raven was.

So, with all that being said, here are a few quick writing ideas that are getting me through this editing portion of my writer’s journey.

1. Watching horror based video games.
I don’t try to understand what gets me through the writing process. I just know if it’s working, it’s working and listening to someone play a scary video game is somehow getting those writing juices flowing.

2. Many breaks
Taking one too many breaks is something that is a thing at the moment. I’ll write a chapter, clap myself on the back and proceed to watch something on Netflix. Not the best move, but whatever.

3. Writing sprints
20-minute writing sprints are all the rage for me at the moment. Especially if I can find someone to join in the writing sprint. Keeps me motivated and pushes me to make that word count.

4. 90’s/Early 2000 bands
Again, I’m not trying to understand my brain but when the horror games fail me, listening to Vertical Horizon and Matchbox 20 on repeat over a hundred times is the next best option.

So if any of these ideas help you, or if you are in the writing trenches along with me and have other things that are helping you get through the process let me know.

Til next time.

Revamping That Character

Okay, so you’ve got this character that’s sitting in your story. You like them, their there after all. They didn’t get killed off, or did they? Either way, you get through your WIP and realize this character has far more potential then you originally thought. They’ve shown some sass, or heart, or whatever it is that caught your attention and you kinda want to go with it.

But you’ve written an entire book around the fact that they’re shy and quiet and kind of in the background until you realize that that doesn’t make a bit of sense.

You know that whole advice about how secondary characters need to be written like they’re telling their own story, yeah, well you get the idea.

So you decide to revamp and that requires getting a new identity for your character. Maybe not an all-new identity, they can keep their name, and their background if it still works for the story, that just leaves you with their personality. Their reactions to certain events and their attitude toward other characters. It’s not an easy process. I’ve done it twice now, well three, if you want to count the time I revamped the same character twice. It doesn’t get easier because you have to comb through your manuscript and decide if that reaction in that scene still fits or does it need to be completely rewritten. More often then not it needs to be completely redone.

So here are a few ideas to help with recreating a new character.

1. Have the character take another personality test.

Yes, this can be time-consuming, but if you are really wanting to know which direction this character is going it might be worth a shot. If you really want to go crazy, you could even decide on a birthday and pick a zodiac sign for them, or vice versa. I’m sure there are ways to quickly look up the various zodiac personalities and pick a birthday from there.

Kinda sounds like a fun idea.

2. Find the character’s defining moment.

You know that scene that really made you love the character. The one that made you realize they were going to make the cut or even that one moment that you realized you’ve completely underestimated that character. Find it. Make it stand out so that others will notice them as well and possibly even fall in love with them. This will also require you to comb through every scene that character is in and ensure that it all matches up with what you having coming for them. If they don’t have one, give them one. There’s got to be something that you can expand upon, or add. As long as it’s not fluff. Avoid all that glitter fluff.

3. Write out the character’s own outline.

This can happen in a number of ways. Any form of outline would really work and allow you to see from start to beginning how this character’s major plot points and all the bits in between. This, of course, would also require you to completely rip apart that story you’ve been working on just to add in all these bits. So this would probably work best for a major character, but if you are one of those writers that map every little detail out, all the way down to why the snail crossed the road, well it’s always an open option.

4. Do some character exercises.

Okay, so you’ve got this crazy ass character that won’t leave you alone. Begging you to give him a bigger better role. Okay. Fine. Throw them through the hoops. Put him through a series of character exercises. Not literally, of course, unless your stories some kind of military/ superhero type of story. Which is cool could work.

A few that I would suggest for those other stories is maybe a bit of truth or dare. Dive into their heads and see what they would and wouldn’t do. What they’d be willing to admit to. Have them witness a crime, or find themselves in a situation where it’s a save one or save all situation. Send them on a date and have another character say “So tell me about yourself.” There are a dozen ways for this to work and you just have to google Character Development Exercises to find the one that works for you.

Now, none of this actually has to end up in your story, this is just you doing some digging. Getting into your character’s head to find the juices bits that can be used, but you can still have fun.

5. Make them the hero of their own story

In the end, that’s what the four other ideas are boiling down to. If they are the hero, make them be a hero. If they’re a side character, make them a hero in their story. Look at it from their perspective. The whole the plot, the other characters, all of it from that insignificant perspective. You’d be amazed at what comes out when viewed from that scope.

Altogether, have fun. Enjoy your time with those characters because, from what I understand, you’re going to miss them one day.

Until next time, happy writing

Patience is Key

I’ve found myself searching for a great deal of patience this past couple of weeks.

Patience with my kids because they are home for the week for spring break and want to bicker over every little thing that they can think of. From what game they’re going to play, to how they are going to play said game and right on to who’s going to take a bath and drain said bath water when it’s the next person’s turn. (Yes, this is a regular argument despite me telling the person who took the bath to drain the water.) Top that off with them randomly getting sick and you’ve got my week in a nutshell.

Patience with the husband who is off for the week. Though he’s got a new computer and video gaming system and isn’t really that bad.

Patience with the mail system because I have several packages coming and they just seem to take forever to ship and deliver.

Lastly, patience with myself because I keep stopping and going on my WIP. I know what I want to do with my story and the changes I want to make. I even have most of them written down and staring at me, mostly. Until I actually get going and then I do this stop and go dance that has me sitting there an hour later with only a little over three hundred words written out. I did this the other night and tweeted about it.

The scene gave me such trouble that I was ecstatic to actually to have finished it. It was only later, as I’m lying in bed, that I kicked myself for not forcing myself to write more. I could have stayed up and written out the next scene. Could have even started on the next chapter, or at least make up the to-do list of changes that needed to be done. I didn’t. I simply went to bed and the next morning I got up and watched youtube videos. Something else I’ve been kicking myself for but I haven’t done anything about the problem.

So being patient with myself and my ever-present procrastination is there.

All that being said, this isn’t much of an update or even some sort of how to. More of a reminder to myself and whoever needs it that great things don’t happen overnight. That it’s okay to be a turtle writer, and not rush through things if want them to be perfect.

Patience is key with anything good in life.

Take care and until next time.

Wendy

A few tips to improve your writing

              Or…what I’m doing to improve my writing. Maybe there’s a thing or two in here that will help you as well.  Who knows.

Now I know what your thinking.

Didn’t you just do a blog like this a couple of weeks ago?

Yes. Yes, I did, but this one is going to get into more specifics. The last one was more of a reminder of how things could get easier.

These blogs are essentially me talking to myself, so you may get some repeats. My apologizes in advance.

Moving on.

When looking over your MS, rather it is the first time or the hundredth it can still feel daunting and you do need that game plan. Hence that last posts, that sounds eerily similar to this one. What people don’t tell you is where to find those game plans. How to improve your writing.

Last week was a lot of google searching for me. Looking up how to’s and re-watching a bunch of different videos. Kind of feels like I wasted a good amount of time I could have been reworking that manuscript, but really it wasn’t. I needed a starting point. A compass of sorts that would point me in the right direction.

A lot of the feedback that I got on my MS was about my grammar and what not. Probably should have slapped a warning label on it and said, “not yet grammarly correct.” That was my own fault but since then, I’ve searched and searched. There’s the obvious choices, Elements of Style, and Self Editing for Fiction Writers, for those that are looking. Both on Amazon and both highly recommended.

Then there’s other options: blogs and websites. SkillShare is a good source for dozens of videos to help freshen up on grammar and sentence structure. There’s also a website called LousyWriter.com that focuses on improving your grammar. If you’re anything like me, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. It really wouldn’t hurt anything but maybe your ego when you finally admit you need help.

Those are just sights I have filed away and saved for later when I decide to go through my manuscript and nitpick the hell out of it.

For now, I’m focusing on the second most mentioned issue with my MS.

My characters.

I knew going into this story, like way back in the first draft, that my MC and the supporting characters were not the good guys. Not really. At first, I struggled with this. Asking myself “aren’t I supposed to be writing the good guys?” But going back through and trying to write my MC and any of the supporting casts as good guys, and turning them into victims to support their decisions didn’t feel right.

So, I embraced it. Watched (what feels like) hundreds of shows with anti-heroes and read up on what makes them lovable and looked into different blogs that talked about making the perfect anti-hero and it worked.

Writer’s Digest, Writers Edit, and the Writepractice.com are some good places to start. Watching some of your favorite bad guys gone good and asking yourself why they do the things they do wouldn’t hurt either if you too want to make that wonderful anti-hero.

For the most part people like my characters. Which is great! I wanted people to like my little villains and question them and wonder just on what track they’re supposed to be on. It’s all good….mostly. What I didn’t expect was for people to say that my MC comes across as heartless and say that she loses focus in the story. I wanted people to question her, not believe she’s a total sociopath, or whatever.

Great. Okay. How to fix that?

Well….I’m basically in a ” you tell me” type of space. I’ve gotten suggestions. The book, Creating Characters Arcs, on Amazon is a good place to start and since then I’ve looked into other ways.

Rachel Stephens on Youtube creates her characters using the plot embryo by Dan Harmon. Basically plotting out each character’s story individually. Not a bad place to start, especially if you’ve got the time. I do. I just feel like I’m going to be lazy on this one and search out another method.

There’s also the Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities that I’ve written down in my bullet journal, along with the plot embryo and a few other things, that I’m going to attempt to use to flush out a few of my minor characters. See where I could take them. Make them more likable and have them take charge of a situation.

If you’re wondering, no I’m not going to do that long ass test for each character. I’ve managed to find an abbreviated route online and I’ll leave the link for you so that you can look at it yourself if you wish.

Myers-Briggs Personality Model Wikipedia

(Hint: It’s the picture box in the corner that gives the shortest explanation.)

There’s also the Emotion Thesaurus, Negative Traits Thesaurus, and a few others that I’ve mentioned before on my blog before that you could use for character and world building. Useful books. I own a couple myself.

The last and final wonderful source to improve your writing.

Feedback.

That’s the right.

The good old fashion form of letting someone else read your work and listening to what they have to say. Doesn’t mean you have to listen to every detail, it falls somewhere between your instinct on what works for the story and knowing when to admit that someone else might have a clearer eye on your work.

It varies, and trust me, it can be rough when you have to admit that the particular line you like doesn’t exactly work to your favor, but you’ll be thankful for those extra pairs of eyes.

I know I very much appreciate each and every person that trudged through my story to help make it better.

Best way to find these people is to head over to your favorite form of social media: Twitter, Tumblr, or even Goodreads and various forums to find Beta readers and Critique Partners. If you’re unsure where to start there’s a ton of videos on Youtube from some well-known authors like Kim Chance and Jenna Moreci that have great tips on finding Beta Readers and Critique Partners.

And remember, while you are doing all this research and crazy non-stop technical reading. Have fun and never stop improving!

Easing into Revisions

     

      Reworking your MS is never an easy feat. I’ve been through 3(?) revisions now. If you’re wanting to count the time I tore my MS to shreds and started over. Every time you would think it get’s easier. That this time around you’ll pull it all together and dive right in no questions asked.

It’s a lie we tell ourselves to make it easier, cause revising never get’s easier.

Even if it’s just doing simple grammar and spelling checks, it’s still a daunting task because you know you’re going to have to comb through 60.000 + word to find the ones that stick out like a sore thumb, and then do it again to find the ones that remained hidden from plain sight.

Not an easy task at all.

Especially when you want to throw in the rules of grammar that say ‘you can’t do this unless it’s after this….’ yada, yada, yada.

I hate grammar. I loved English class in high school because they would hand me a book and tell me to read, but otherwise, I hated it. Go figure I would find myself wanting to do something that requires I brush up on those skills. Which, after a recent bout of feedback, I am currently looking for ways to do so on a budget. Spending $100 some odd dollars on an online course that may or may not teach me anything useful is a bit questionable for me at the moment.

So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

That being said, I have gone through the revisions process a few times, and though my grammar suffers, I’ve learned a few ways to go through this process without so much hassle.

First off, you have to have a game plan. Rather it is a simple start at point A and slowly migrate to points, B, C, and D, or writing out endless tasks lists with each every step spelled out for you is up to you.

Me, personally, I prefer the tasks list. I like having something tangible that I can look at. See where my big problem areas are and cross it off as I go. That’s why this time I’m doing my planning in my Bullet Journal. With lists, and collections and day to day tasks that need to be completed before I can move onto the next step. Ambitious, I know, but somethings got to work somewhere. Might as well start mapping it out and building up that plan to find out if it’ll fly or perish.

(probably perish, in a mountain of hot lava, never to be seen again.)

Once you have that extremely long list sitting in front of you or burned somewhere in your brain, you may find that the biggest issues are a bit too much to take on at the moment. That’s fine. Nobody said you had to work this thing in order or take on the biggest rewrites firsts. Start small, go over those pesky grammar spots, and cross those off your lists. Searching out inconsistencies, a name change here or the change of color to Micheal’s hair there. You know those small things that may or may not drive the readers mad. I for one am a sucker for consistency. If you have a dogs name as Louis on page four, it’d better not be Lenny or Barker on page sixty.

Then move to the bigger stuff. Those whole scenes that require you to completely rewrite, or that character that needs their head screwed on straight through the entire story. Those things can come later, when you are far more comfortable with making changes in your MS. Like being able to delete whole chapters, or characters, or whatever it is that’s going to make your story better. If you can’t make those major changes that you know will make your story ten times better just because you really love a particular scene, or line then you’re going to have problems. You have to be able to sacrifice your favorite scenes for the overall outcome of the book.

It’s one of those ‘Go big or go home’ scenarios that we find ourselves in from time to time.

All that being said, sometimes it’s better to just take a step back from your MS. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Taking time away from any project can give you a better perspective. Getting feedback on your story and knowing what needs to be changed is no different.

Yes, after that initial read through of the all the feedback you may just want to shred your MS and delete every single string of its existence, but don’t.

Let it sit. Give yourself time to think of what needs to be done to improve the story and who knows, sometimes that time gives you a chance to think up better scenarios. Way to make the plot points stronger and far more exciting. Just give yourself some space to think and then, again, come back with a fresh head and willingness to work on something that you know is going to be great someday.

Growing Some Skin

No matter what field your in. What your hobbies include. At some point you are going to have to let someone else look at your work. Even if it’s that quilted blanket that you’ve been working on for months and your great aunt wants to inspect your stitching.

It probably wouldn’t hurt to let them. That way you can tell if your improving or just wasting your time .Most often then not, in the early stages of anything you do, you are just wasting your time. You’ve thrown yourself full force into something amazing and you come out the other end realizing that it’s probably a piece of shit and you have to decide rather or not it’s worth the time to fix it. Make it better and or just chunk it somewhere far away.

That’s where criticism comes in. And when you need to start growing those extra layers of skin.

Cause good lord are you gonna need them.

I’ve recently gotten feedback on my own WIP, Stop the Raven, and man did it make me cry. I mean officially over it, I’m done, break down. Not that the feedback was rude in anyway. It was all very helpful and I’m thankful that the people took the time to give such feedback.

It just made me realize how much work I still have to go. After a year of writing this story and doing my best to work out all the kinks inside of it, it brought me to tears that there might just be that much more work and I know after these edits there’s still so much more work to do.

I was this close to throwing in the towel and calling it a day. Saying I tried. I really did, but like I said, I’ve been working on this project for a year. To give up now would mean that all that time was wasted. Not something I’m looking forward to admitting. Also, everyone who gave the best feed back also gave some inspiring notes.

So, I’m not giving up.

Did the truth hurt?

Yes, I cried like a baby but it’s all good.

Woke up in the morning with a new layer of skin and…..

Okay, so it wasn’t the next morning, it was more like two days and 10 episodes of Criminal Minds later but you get the idea.

I got over it.

Decided that putting in the effort to fix what was needed out weighed having to start again with something new. Or doing nothing at all.

Never understood how I could sit there for years and say ,”Someday I’m gonna…”
Every time I’ve started saying that recently I reply with (To myself of course) “Well someday is today, sweetheart, so pick up those feet.”

Wipe those tears away, pull up those big girl britches and grow some skin. Cause the world is tough and you got to be tougher.

This turned into more of a rambling pep talk, but I hope you are getting the gist of it. Started this blog to show my writers journey. To document what I’ve learned and what I’m still musing over. So if it’s a pep talk for me hopefully it’s enough for you as well.

Til next time.

Finish Your Work

We all have files upon files of unfinished projects. For various reason we lose interest in whatever it is we’re working on. Family demands, work get’s chaotic, or we just lose motivation to work on that specific piece and before we know it it’s been shoved so far back on our shelves there’s a small village of dust bunnies living upon it.

There are some thing that you can’t avoid that keeps you from your projects. A family member get’s sick, or worse. Kids have after school / summer activities that demand your attention. Hell, kids demand your attention in general. I have two boys and when their out of school getting even the most basic of things finished becomes a challenge.

Of course we try to plan for this. We etch time out of our busy schedules and stubbornly state that we’re going to write everyday no matter what.

Yeah okay, Susan. What happens if you’re stranded in the middle of the Texas desert and being chased by a man with a chainsaw?

You gonna ask him to give you a few minutes so that you can write something?

I didn’t think so.

Geez, Susan.

Anyways, point is life is unpredictable. You as a person are unpredictable. What you thought cool and exciting six months ago now seems like the lamest thing ever since…..sliced bread.

( Yeah, that’s it. Stop starring at me.)

The irony is that I’ve been struggling to finish this blog for a week now. I started when I had an upstart on an old story that has been sitting on my computer for nearly a year and I got inspired to tell myself to finish what I start.

That being said, it’s been a week and I’m still chastising myself.

The best way I’ve found to get stuff down is if I have a big note card taped to something right in front of me and I’m staring at it day in and day out. It’s how I finished the first draft of Stop the Raven.

How I continue finishing revisions and other necessary steps to getting this project published.

I find having a daily reminder staring at me tends to keep me going. Gives that small kick that I need to focus and get shit done.

Others might not find this to be very helpful. Sometimes it’s a friend or family member that motivates you one in of two ways.

  1. The person is really excited to read your work and that makes you want to complete said tasks just for them.

  2. The person doubts that you will even finish and thus inspires you to complete said tasks.

Let’s hope that you only have the first person in your life, seeing as Doubting Dan can be a tad annoying, and upsetting all in one roll.

Ignore Dan. He’s just going to bring you down.

Find some reason to sit down and finish what you start. Even if it’s just so you can say you finished it and shove it back into that forgotten shelf with that village of dust bunnies.

Sometimes it’s not possible. You stare at a piece for so long and you’ve lost it’s story. You don’t even know where you got the idea from much less how to even continue it. To make it worse, you’ve forgotten the characters, or their just not talking to you.

That’s fine. That happens from time to time. It doesn’t make you a bad writer. Most people do this. Stephen King wrote Under the Dome back in his early career –  in the 80’s  I want to say but don’t quote me on that – and realized the project was too big for him and shelved it. Came back to it years later and it turned out to be a great book. One of my favorites anyways.

You notice I mention King in here a lot. That’s cause I admire him and love his writing. Whenever I find myself not wanting to write I turn to his stories and interviews and find that I’m willing to continue working .

Go figure. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way.

Try. Do your level best to cross that work off your lists. Even if you shelve it and never think about it again there’s a great satisfaction in putting a something in that complete pile. Even if it’s a piece of shit that no one’s going to read. It’s there for your knowledge anyhow.

But don’t beat yourself up to much if you can’t finish it. Move on to something that you know you’re going to stick with and finish. That will boost your morale and teach you something else about your writing process is.

Each finished or unfinished draft is a learning process. Something that you take with you on your way to be a bigger and better writer.

So go on. Go finish whichever project is currently inspiring you. That one that’s going to give you that giddy feeling in your stomach when you can cross it off and go on to the next phase.

Cause you know you really just want to finish that that work.